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I can't let my dad go...


heka8306

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Hi, my name is Heather and I am 27 years old. On January 1st my dad went to the ER with severe abdominal pain... they started running tests and admitted him to the hospital. A few days later we discovered that he had terminal liver cancer and there wasn't anything they could do about it... he came home on hospice January 7th and passed away on January 25th. I've pretty much been in a fog these past 5 months... it hasn't seemed real so I haven't really dealt with it. It all just happened so fast... one minute he's my normal, silly dad and the next minute I'm watching him fade away... Lately it has really been hitting me...hard. Everything reminds me of him... we were always really close. Some days I experience severe anxiety when I'm not even thinking about anything, and other days I'm fine, laughing and everything. I just don't feel like myself anymore... I miss him so much... I feel like a part of me is missing and I will never get it back. I try to live my life and go about my normal routine, but everything has an empty feeling. I've become overly sensitive about everything and can cry at the drop of a hat. I've been starting fights with my boyfriend for no reason... he's always so understanding but I still feel horrible. I always make excuses for my behavior but I know that I'm grieving. I feel like I can't really talk to anyone about this... it's like no one else will understand. I've dealt with this so differently than everyone else in my family. They all cried and faced it in the beginning and I've been in denial. It's starting to hit me now and I don't know how to deal with it. Is it normal to be experiencing the pain and grief 5 1/2 months after he passed? I'm having a really hard time letting him go... I don't want to lose him...even though I know he's already gone. It's like I'm not ready to say goodbye, yet holding onto this pain is killing me. I want my life back...I want to feel normal again. But how can my life be normal when such an important part of it is gone? My dad was always the person I turned to when I was having trouble, he's helped me through so much... I really don't know what to do...

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Hi Heather

27 is young to lose a parent, too young, I feel your pain.

I lost my mother 4 days ago and it hurts. But she was 85 and I am in my early 50s-- that does not mean I am not feeling sad, trust me I am, just that I think at 27 is must be even harder because I am sure you looked to your dad for guidance and help in life in whatever way, and at 27 losing a dad means you are much more alone in life, feeling more isolated and on your own, so be sure to reach out for help from others. You will do okay in life, but it might not feel like it now.

I have suffered great loss twice before in my life-- when I was about your age the woman I loved as a soul mate took her life and I felt I was cast in hell, and I was so unbearably sad for many months.

Yes it is normal to cry and be sad and have periods of intense grief for many months. Different for everybody. I was sad, melancholic for the first couple of years, but I can promise you that you will feel less sad as the weeks and months go on. As time goes on you probably will find yourself thinking more on good times and less on the depressing part of your dad's death and disease. Give yourself permission to grieve, go for escapism distraction big time to get through this-- movies, computer games, sports, whatever you liked doing that can help you get through the time. Talk it out, share your sadness with willing ears (just being here helps). You will feel 'normal' again, not sad all the time, but you also will never be the same, you will never forget your dad. Death of loved one changes our outlook on life, spirituality; for me it meant appreciating those around me more knowing anybody can be taken at any time-- including our own lives.

What would your dad want you to do while you grieve, and as time goes on? Maybe think about how you can honor and celebrate your dad's life by living your dreams, finding love, things he would want for you to pursue if he was next to you now, talking to you?

Randall

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Hi, my name is Heather and I am 27 years old. On January 1st my dad went to the ER with severe abdominal pain... they started running tests and admitted him to the hospital. A few days later we discovered that he had terminal liver cancer and there wasn't anything they could do about it... he came home on hospice January 7th and passed away on January 25th. I've pretty much been in a fog these past 5 months... it hasn't seemed real so I haven't really dealt with it. It all just happened so fast... one minute he's my normal, silly dad and the next minute I'm watching him fade away... Lately it has really been hitting me...hard. Everything reminds me of him... we were always really close. Some days I experience severe anxiety when I'm not even thinking about anything, and other days I'm fine, laughing and everything. I just don't feel like myself anymore... I miss him so much... I feel like a part of me is missing and I will never get it back. I try to live my life and go about my normal routine, but everything has an empty feeling. I've become overly sensitive about everything and can cry at the drop of a hat. I've been starting fights with my boyfriend for no reason... he's always so understanding but I still feel horrible. I always make excuses for my behavior but I know that I'm grieving. I feel like I can't really talk to anyone about this... it's like no one else will understand. I've dealt with this so differently than everyone else in my family. They all cried and faced it in the beginning and I've been in denial. It's starting to hit me now and I don't know how to deal with it. Is it normal to be experiencing the pain and grief 5 1/2 months after he passed? I'm having a really hard time letting him go... I don't want to lose him...even though I know he's already gone. It's like I'm not ready to say goodbye, yet holding onto this pain is killing me. I want my life back...I want to feel normal again. But how can my life be normal when such an important part of it is gone? My dad was always the person I turned to when I was having trouble, he's helped me through so much... I really don't know what to do...

Hi Heather,

What you are experiencing is perfectly normal. People deal with grief differently. Denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance, loneliness, turmoil, confusion, and fear are part of grieving. Some people experience all of them in a short time, others take a while.

Life has changed for you for sure, but at some point, you will develop a new "normal" and move forward with you life. I know you miss you dad; he was a profound part of your life. It takes time to move forward from such a devastating loss. One of the things that will help you is to continue to talk about the loss of your precious father. Write down your feelings in a private journal, join a grief and loss group or continue to post here about how you feel. It will help you sort through your emotions.

There are many people here who have suffered the loss of their parents. They may be able to offer you support, encouragement and friendship. We will be here for you.

ModKonnie

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dizzydancingway

I am also 27. Just lost my mom. Its a difficult age to deal with the death of a parent. Many of my (older) friends/coworkers lost their mothers already. Most of their mom's were in their 80s+. I can see in some ways that their experiences are similar to mine, but it many ways I feel totally isolated being so young and going through this. "She lived a long life." "We had many years together." "She was a wonderful grandmother." Those are all things that I've heard from people who lost a parent, and they seem to provide comfort at such a difficult time... and I can't hold onto any of them. My mom died too young. I was too young. Those feelings eat me up sometimes.

I don't think there is any easy loss, but for those of us that lose a parent at a younger age, that feeling of having been gipped, ripped off, and deprived of years we thought we were supposed to have...its the worst part of my mom's death. There are years and years that I am missing out on.

Anyway, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. Its normal to be hyper emotional and its normal for the loss to hit you no matter how much time has passed. I went through the first few months relatively well. Other than crying a lot, I felt very strong and together. I now (after three months) feel like I am totally losing control, and can't get out of my head how much I miss my mom. You're doing just fine. The best thing I've found is to talk about the loss and pain as much as possible. It helps more than you might imagine. Hope you're feeling a bit better...let us know how things progress with you.

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